Brett Wallace Rumors

Astros Release Brett Wallace

The Astros have released corner infielder and former top prospect Brett Wallace, according to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).

To call Wallace a well-traveled first-round draft pick would be an understatement. Originally selected 13th overall by the Cardinals in the 2008 draft, he was traded to the A's for a half season of Matt Holliday a year later in 2009. Oakland held onto Wallace for just five months, however, as he was flipped to the Blue Jays in exchange for then-top-prospect Michael Taylor. Seven months later, Toronto turned around and traded him to the Astros in a one-for-one swap that sent Anthony Gose to the Blue Jays.

Now looking for his fifth organization since being selected 13th overall less than six years ago, Wallace is coming off a season in which he batted just .221/.284/.431 with 13 homers in 285 plate apperances for the Astros. Wallace has never hit much in 1077 PAs at the big league level, but he's crushed Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .308/.375/.500 triple-slash in more than 1600 PAs.


Astros Outright Brett Wallace

JANUARY 12: Wallace has cleared waivers and been outrighted, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com, who notes that Wallace will take part in big league camp.

JANUARY 6: The Astros have designated Brett Wallace for assignment to make roster space for newly signed pitcher Jerome Williams, the club announced via press release. Once the game's 27th overall prospect, Wallace never found sustained success in Houston.

Playing the corner infield (mostly first base) over four seasons with the Astros, Wallace never earned more than 379 plate appearances in a season and accumulated a .242/.313/.391 slash (including 29 home runs) in 1,077 plate appearances. Last year, he received 285 plate appearances and put up a .221/.284/.431 line, striking out over 100 times while drawing just 18 walks. (His 36.5% strikeout rate was the worst in the league amongst players with at least 150 plate appearances.)

On the other hand, Wallace is still just 27 years of age and has shown the ability to get on base in the upper minors, where his career Triple-A OBP has approached the .400 mark. And Wallace began to translate his power into production at the MLB level, hitting 22 long balls in his last 539 trips to bat over 2012-13. Wallace is out of options, notes Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter), which complicates his situation for clubs that might like to take a chance on his upside.


Quick Hits: Pedro, Martin, Archer, Davis, D’Backs

Links for Saturday, after Matt Harrison threw his second gem in as many starts…

  • A team official told Joel Sherman of The New York Post that the Yankees have no interest in Pedro Martinez even though he's looking to return (Twitter links). The Yankees changed their mind about Carlos Silva after the right-hander agreed to get in shape and pitch in the minors.
  • Mike Petraglia of WEEI.com spoke to Russell Martin, who said the Red Sox expressed interest in signing him this offseason but were concerned about his injured hip.
  • Rays prospect Chris Archer holds no ill-will towards the Cubs for dealing him, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.  The right-hander was a part of the deal that brought Matt Garza to Chicago.
  • The Yankees did not send a scout to watch Doug Davis' workout yesterday, reports George A. King III of The New York Post.
  • In his Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney spoke to some executives that said Manny Ramirez's reported PED use may have altered the future of former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes and manager Bob Melvin. Arizona led the NL West for most of the 2008 season, but were knocked out of postseason race when the Dodgers made a late charge after acquiring Manny at the deadline.
  • ESPN's Jerry Crasnick profiled Brett Wallace of the Astros, who was traded three times in the span of 371 days. "The way I choose to look at it, the teams that traded for me all had a plan for me and believed in me," said the first baseman. "But it definitely makes you step back and see the business side of baseball. When you get traded one year out of the draft, it's an eye opener. It doesn't matter how much a team likes you or doesn't like you. Things can change. Things are going to happen, and anyone is touchable."


Brian Wilson, Kurt Suzuki Now With Dan Lozano

Giants closer Brian Wilson, Athletics catcher Kurt Suzuki, Astros first baseman Brett Wallace, and Twins outfielder Jason Repko are represented by agent Dan Lozano, MLBTR has learned.  Lozano left Beverly Hills Sports Council to form his own agency in June, and these four players are among many who went with him.  Here's a look at Lozano's client list; click here for BHSC.

Wondering about a player's representation or an agency's client list?  MLBTR's newly-launched, constantly-updated Agency Database puts all of the information at your fingertips.  A link to the database can always be found in the Tools menu on the navigation bar.  If you have any corrections or omissions, please email mlbtrdatabase@gmail.com.


NL Central Notes: Cubs, McClellan, Wallace, Rogers

Notes from the NL Central as Opening Day draws closer…


Odds & Ends: Dodgers, Rangers, Maya, Lowell

Sunday night linkage..


Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Berkman, Dunn, Dodgers

On this date two years ago, Ichiro Suzuki picked up his 3,000th career hit with a first inning single against the Rangers. The hit was his 1,722nd in the big leagues, which came after he racked up 1,278 hits with the Orix Blue Wave in Japan's Pacific League. Including the postseason, the 36-year-old Ichiro has 3,456 career base hits to his credit, a staggering number no matter how you look at it.

Here is the latest from around the baseball blogosphere, a day before the non-waiver trade deadline…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.


Gose-Wallace Trade Reactions

Baseball America represents the industry consensus, and given the players' respective rankings it follows that most teams value Brett Wallace more than Anthony Gose.  That Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos made the swap with the Astros yesterday anyway shows that he values his army of scouts over the industry consensus, as he should.  When Anthopoulos came on board he built the largest scouting staff in the Majors and Wallace for Gose represents an interesting test case.  More thoughts on the deal…

  • Anthopoulos explained the trade to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. He's attempted to acquire Gose from the Phillies multiple times before, and sees him as a potential impact center fielder.  Upside over certainty.
  • ESPN's Keith Law says this trade "could not possibly make less sense to me," and views Wallace as "twice as valuable a prospect as Gose."
  • Dustin Parkes of Drunk Jays Fans points out that value has been lost by the Jays at some point.  His colleague Andrew Stoeten isn't concerned about that, but wonders if the deal is "indicative of an organizational shift regarding the timeline for contention."  He also wonders if the Blue Jays feel they are "jumping off on [Wallace] before his value drops."

Astros, Blue Jays Swap Anthony Gose & Brett Wallace

Just minutes after the Astros officially acquired Anthony Gose, they sent him to the Blue Jays for Brett Wallace. The Blue Jays obtained Wallace for Michael Taylor last winter right after the Roy Halladay trade. Now, the first baseman could become the heir to Lance Berkman in Houston. 

The Blue Jays believe Gose, 19, is an "athletic, Gold Glove caliber center fielder," Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told the FAN 590. They tried to acquire him in the Halladay deal and again this spring. Meanwhile, Astros GM Ed Wade says Wallace is a "hitting machine," according to Alyson Footer of the Astros (via Twitter).

ESPN's Jayson Stark first reported that the Astros were sending Gose to Toronto and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Twitter that the Astros were getting Wallace in return. The Blue Jays confirmed the trade.


Discussion: Lyle Overbay

Much has been written over the last few years about Vernon Wells' immovable contract, but besides that significant commitment to their center fielder, the Blue Jays have a very manageable payroll situation. The only other player on their roster who will earn more than $4.75MM this season is Lyle Overbay ($7MM).

Unlike Wells, who has rediscovered the power stroke that earned him that monster contract in the first place, Overbay is struggling. Hitless in his last 14 at-bats, the 33-year-old has seen his 2010 slash line slip to .200/.281/.337 and has been the target of Rogers Centre boo-birds for most of the season. Manager Cito Gaston finally dropped Overbay in the batting order tonight, slotting him seventh rather than his usual fifth.

Although it's still unclear whether Toronto will be a buyer or a seller this summer, parting ways with Overbay could benefit both the present and future of the club. Top prospect Brett Wallace is hitting .289/.346/.537 with 11 homers in Triple A Las Vegas and not only represents a significant piece of the team's rebuilding plan, but could provide an instant offensive upgrade over Overbay. The Jays are likely postponing a roster decision at least until they can be sure Wallace will avoid becoming a super two player, but that time is fast approaching.

The last time we looked at Overbay's future, we still thought he may have some trade value. Now it seems unlikely that the first baseman, who has approximately $4.9MM remaining on his contract, would attract any interest. Is it best for Toronto to emulate what the Rays did with Pat Burrell and just cut their losses, or can Overbay turn things around? Is the 23-year-old Wallace ready to be an everyday player for a team technically still in contention? How should the Jays handle this situation?